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How to Trim & File Skateboard Grip Tape

Learn how to apply skateboard grip tape from SHUT Skateboards' Michael A. Cohen in this Howcast video, part two of two.


Remove this, toss to the side so it's not in your way. You just want to make sure that the grip is lifted off the edge of it here.

We're going to use a flat file. You can use the edge of a screwdriver or any metal object like this. We find that the flat file works the best for this job. And what we do is give a little cut right at the breaks, where the board tips up, right up to the edge of the board.

This is going to help when we're cutting around, then when we get to this bend of the board it doesn't mess up that section. So there's four cuts right there. I'm just going to take the flat file and at a 45 degree angle, along the side of the table here, I'm going to score the edge of the board. You don't want to apply too much pressure.

If you're out on the go and you're doing this in the streets, setting up a new board, you can use the edge of your truck, the baseplate or the hangar or the axle. If you don't have a razor, you can actually scrape hard enough to where this will peel away. It won't come out as smooth but it is a quick fix on the go.

Okay. That's all taken care of. You want to go ahead and grab your razor. With your thumb and your middle finger, you're going to hold here. With your index, you're just going to push on the back.

Here we are going to cut towards ourselves; we're just going to pull towards ourselves. I'm going to put the blade in here on a 45 degree angle, get a little cut going, hold my excess on the side here and pull towards me, right up to the edge where I made that cut.

Just put the pieces off to the side. Try to save the bigger pieces; I'll show you why towards the end.

I'm going to bring this around so I can cut the rest of this towards me. Hold the excess; hold the board down with your arm so it doesn't move around, then just a nice pull.

You don't want to get hung up and you want it to kind of cut right through to the end. Then just put that off to the side. We're going to finish off the tail of the board.

Be careful, too, that you don't apply too much pressure to the wood. So this is kind of hovering just above the wood. You can even use the wood, the rounded edges of the wood will guide with your finger, to stay off of the wood.

Now with the excess, I'm just going to fold this in half here and with this big piece here that's left over, I'm going to give it a quick sanding all around so it will smooth up the edges. It will also help prevent the grip from peeling off the board.

Also right into the edge here, I'm going to come in to where the graphic area is, just to give it a little scraping. That way, the grip tape won't peel off this section either.

Okay. Go ahead and just knock off the dust on that one.

And then the last thing we've got to do is poke holes in the board, where the grip is, so we can find where our bolts go. And just be careful when you're doing the tail section here also, because you don't want to push up this section of the grip. So just a light poke through; just enough to see the hole.

That's it. And then same thing here.

Once that's all set, all your holes are showing for your mounting hardware, you're ready to roll.

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